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Topic: Presumption of CPG

Case: PNB vs. CA


Facts:
1. Donata Montemayor, through her son, Salvador M. Vitug, mortgaged to the
Philippine National Bank (PNB) several parcels of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 2289 Pampanga to guarantee the loan granted
by the PNB to Salvador Jaramilla and Pedro Bacani in the amount of P40,900.00
which was duly registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pampanga.
2. On December 1, 1963, Donata Montemayor also mortgaged in favor of PNB
certain properties to guarantee the payment of the loan account of her son
Salvador Vitug in the amount of P35,200.00, which mortgage was duly registered
in the Register of Deeds of Pampanga.
3. The above-mentioned Transfer Certificates of Titles covering said properties
were all in the name of Donata Montemayor,
4. Salvador Vitug failed to pay his account so the bank foreclosed the mortgaged.
5. They were sold at public auction on May 20, 1968 in which the PNB was the
highest bidder. The titles thereto were thereafter consolidated in the name of
PNB. Likewise, Salvador Jaramilla and Pedro Bacani failed to settle their
accounts with the PNB so the latter foreclosed the properties which were sold at
public auction and likewise PNB was the buyer thereof.
6. On August 30, 1968, the Register of Deeds covering said properties in favor of
the PNB issued a certificate of sale.
7. When the title of the PNB was consolidated a new title was issued in its name.
8. On September 2, 1969, the PNB sold the to Jesus M. Vitug, Anunciacion V. de
Guzman, Prudencia V. Fajardo, Salvador Vitug and Aurora V. Gutierrez in those
names the corresponding titles were issued.
9. During the lifetime of Clodualdo Vitug he married two times. His first wife was
Gervacia Flores with whom he had 3 children, namely, Victor, Lucina and Julio all
surnamed Vitug.
10. Victor now dead is survived by his 5 children: Leonardo, Juan, Candida
Francisco and Donaciano, an surnamed Vitug. Juan Vitug is also dead and is
survived by his only daughter Florencia Vitug.
11. The second wife of Clodualdo Vitug was Donata Montemayor with whom he had
8 children, namely, Pragmacio, Maximo, Jesus, Salvador, Prudencio and
Anunciacion, all surnamed Vitug, the late Enrique Vitug represented by his wife
Natalia Laquian, and the late Francisco Vitug who is survived by 11 children,
namely, Antonio, Francisco, Aurora, Pedro, Honorio, Corazon, Anselmo, Benigno,
Eligio Jesus and Luz.
12. Clodualdo Vitug died intestate on May 20, 1929 so his estate was settled and
distributed in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga wherein Donata
Montemayor was the Administratrix.
13. Meanwhile, on May 12,1958, Donata Montemayor executed a contract of lease
of Lot No. 24, in favor of her children Pragmacio and Maximo both surnamed
Vitug.
14. This lease was extended on August 31, 1963. By virtue of a general power of
attorney executed by Donata Montemayor on Sept. 19, 1966 in favor of
Pragmacio Vitug, the latter executed a contract of lease on Sept. 19, 1967 of the
said lot in favor of Maximo Vitug.
15. On March 21, 1970 Pragmacio Vitug and Maximo Vitug filed an action for
partition and reconveyance with damages in the Court of First Instance of

Pampanga against Marcelo Mendiola, special administrator of the intestate


estate of Donata Montemayor who died earlier, Jesus Vitug, Sr., Salvador,
Natalia, Prudencia, Anunciacion, all surnamed Vitug, Antonio, Francisco, Aurora,
Pedro, Honorio, Corazon, Anselmo, Benigno, Eligio Jesus and Luz, all surnamed
Fajardo and the PNB.
16. The subject of the action is 30 parcels of land which they claim to be the conjugal
property of the spouses Donata Montemayor and Clodualdo Vitug of which they
claim a share of 2/11 of 1/2 thereof.
17. They assailed the mortgage to the PNB and the public auction of the properties
as null and void. They invoked the case of Vitug vs. Montemayor, L-5297
decided by this Court on Oct. 20, 1953 which is an action for partition and
liquidation of the said 30 parcels of land wherein the properties were found
to be conjugal in nature.
Issue: Does the presumption of conjugality of properties acquired by the spouses during
coverture provided for in Article 160 of the Civil Code apply to property covered by a
Torrens certificate of title in the name of the widow?
Held:
NO. The presumption applies to property acquired during the lifetime of the husband and
wife. In this case, it appears on the face of the title that Donata Montemayor acquired the
properties when she was already a widow.
Art. 160. All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership,
unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
When the property is registered in the name of a spouse only and there is no
showing as to when the property was acquired by said spouse, this is an
indication that the property belongs exclusively to said spouse. And this
presumption under Article 160 of the Civil Code cannot prevail when the title is in
the name of only one spouse and the rights of innocent third parties are involved.
The PNB had a reason to rely on what appears on the certificates of title of the
properties mortgaged. For all legal purposes, the PNB is a mortgagee in goodfaith for at
the time the mortgages covering said properties were constituted the PNB was not
aware to any flaw of the title of the mortgagor. At any rate, although actions for recovery
of real property and for partition are real actions, however, they are actions
in personam that bind only the particular individuals who are parties thereto.
The PNB not being a party in said cases is not bound by the said decisions. Nor
does it appear that the PNB was aware of the said decisions when it extended the
above describe mortgage loans. Indeed, if the PNB knew of the conjugal nature of
said properties it would not have approved the mortgage applications covering
said properties of Donata Montemayor without requiring the consent of all the
other heirs or co-owners thereof. Moreover, when said properties were sold at public
auction, the PNB was a purchaser for value in good faith. So its right thereto is beyond
question.
Pragmacio and Maximo Vitug are now estopped from questioning the title of Donata
Montemayor to the said properties. They never raised the conjugal nature of the property
nor took issue as to the ownership of their mother, Donata Montemayor, over the same.
Indeed private respondents were among the defendants in said two cases wherein in
their answers to the complaint they asserted that the properties in question are

paraphernal properties belonging exclusively to Donata Montemayor and are not


conjugal in nature. Thus they leased the properties from their mother Donata
Montemayor for many years knowing her to be the owner. They were in possession of
the property for a long time and they knew that the same were mortgaged by their
mother to the PNB and thereafter were sold at public auction, but they did not do
anything. It is only after 17 years that they remembered to assert their rights. Certainly,
they are guilty of laches.
//krg